American in Brasil

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Rio Mayor addresses Rio Olympic security concerns

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7 -5 -2016

by Mark Lassise

Here we are 2 months out and we are talking about the same things in Rio de Janeiro as discussed last year.  Well, actually as discussed the year before last and so on and so on.  Rio de Janeiro has always had these concerns.  What is new?  Ask any resident and they will tell you the number one issue in Brazil is security.  Not Zika, nor health and education, nor water quality, nor infrastructure problems and not even the in your face corruption where millions of Brazilians Reais are stolen everyday from the public coffers can top the security issue of Brazil.  When I traveled Brazil on report for Globo Network from 2013 through to the World Cup with my journalist program “The Foreign Eye”. I met hundreds of foreigners with brazil citizenship.   Many of them had the same responses regarding their Brazil home.  One in particular was a 70 year old Japanese-Brazilian, director of the japanese Association of Recife, who put it best when he said, “Brazil would be heaven, if we had security”.

Nothing has changed, folks.  Since October 2, 2009 when thousands of Brazilians celebrated on the beaches of Copacabana at the announcement that Rio de Janeiro would receive the Olympics Games 2016, nothing has changed.  It’s business as usually here and no surprise to anyone here that projects are not finished, money is lost, security is non-existent etc etc.  Though the world media is aghast or shocked or whatever creative adjective you want to use.  But here in Brazil it is normal and basically accepted.  I learned long ago that while in Brazil you must think in reverse.  Brazil should not be expected to prepare for the world, contrary the world needs to prepare for Brazil.  The Games will come and go and Brazil will remain the same.  This is the ONLY thing that should be expected.

I return to the one thing that has me worried as I stated in a previous article and this is terrorism.  Brazil is a friendly country and should not be hated by anyone.  The only bad Brazil does in the world is in the way it treats its own people.   But in todays world terrorism knows no boundaries.   Europe, Arfica, Asia and now even the US has been infiltrated by Radical Islam with one intent, to Kill the Infidels.  Its written in scripture so it shall be.  We need to identify the enemy in order to defeat the enemy.

Unlike the World Cup of 2014 where the games were spread out over 12 cities and thousands of miles.  The Olympics of 2016 is a centralized event in one city with very tight surroundings.  Though, as the Mayor of Rio, Eduardo Paes, states in the below video for CNN, the security of the Games will be done by the military and international forces.  READ MORE and WATCH THE VIDEO

I believe the potential targets to be outside these event locations.  If you study the latest string of terror attacks from the US in Orlando at the gay nightclub to the Paris attacks to Turkey etc.  These attacks were not at sporting or political events but at highly populated urban areas.

So, logic tells me that possible targets would be one of the many tourist attractions here in Rio i.e., Christ the Redeemer, Sugar Loaf Mountain, the new downtown Museum of the Future or The Cathedral. These places will be full of tourist from around the world and definitely have little to no security.  I have been a part-time tour guide for seven years and have been to all these places.  My most recent was a visit to the Christ Statue one month ago.  I was not surprised to find only one senior park police officer greet us at the park entrance.  He smiled, moved the orange cone, and waved us through.  At the base of the tour site, where you park and buy tickets there was only one police car.  This will not change with all the focus on the 5 different events areas I am sure the tour spots will be left to their usually security methods.   Rio is one of the most visited cities in the world and gets by with this lack of security all the time.  It’s Rio, people come here for fun in the sun. good vibes and great “selfies” with the best natural backdrops.  Though, Brazil does not pose a risk to ISIS or any other terror groups currently advancing across the global map.  I think we should be a bit concerned this time around.

I hate thinking like this but isn’t it necessary?


Written by American in Brasil

July 6, 2016 at 11:28 am

Posted in Uncategorized

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